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Thursday,  June 13, 2024 1:12 AM 

PATA Canada celebrates official launch

  • Air
  •   04-24-2015  12:49 pm

PATA Canada celebrates official launch

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) celebrated the official launch of its Canadian chapter on April 22, welcoming its members for a networking reception and a chance to meet PATA’s 27 founding members. The event was also broadcast via webcam, allowing PATA members to tune in from across the country.

Founded in 1951, PATA is a not-for-profit association with a focus on the responsible development of travel and tourism as it relates to the Asia Pacific region.

Barbara Dirnberger, executive director of PATA Canada, began the evening by thanking the founding members for supporting the initiative of re-opening a chapter for PATA in Canada, and explained their collective goal to inspire and engage members as a resource for Asia Pacific for the Canadian travel trade.

“We believe that as a group representing this dynamic region,” she said to the assembled, “you now have an immense shopping power to discover, plan and build exceptional travel experiences for Canadians.”

PATA Canada has recently launched a new website and print publication, and is set to create an events calendar that will feature both PATA Canada and PATA International events, in addition to events hosted by Asia Pacific suppliers. The nature of the events and workshops to be hosted by PATA Canada are still being determined, and are intended to include interactive experiences that will engage members about Asia Pacific as a destination.

“We are focused on helping you get to know Asia Pacific better, and helping you find the tour operator, airline, hotel, consolidator, even travel support companies that have the expertise and answers to help you sell this fantastic part of the world,” Dirnberger said.

A video was played following Dirnberger’s welcome featuring Mario Hardy. The CEO of PATA provided an update on the organization’s initiatives, as well as its five year forecast which was recently released and revealed that the Asia Pacific market is expected to receive 33 million more outside arrivals in 2015 than in 2014 – a six per cent growth rate.

Following an introduction of the PATA team, PATA Canada’s Board was announced, with Rocky Lo of Air Canada as president; Sandra Ngoh-Fonseka of Tourism Malaysia for programs; Doug Vogl of Centricity Reps as membership, and Judi Pym of Centara Hotels & Resorts as treasurer.

Lo was next to take the stage, providing an overview of the benefits of PATA membership, and announcing new members to the association: Tai Pan Tours, Alio Tours and Emirates Airlines. Lo also spoke about Tourism India Canada, who will be hosting a roadshow organized by the PATA India chapter June 10 and 11, and PATA Travel Mart, being hosted September 2015 in Bangalore, India, with special fees available to members.

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PHOTO:  Barbara Dirnberger, national manager canada, Hong Kong Airlines and executive director, PATA Canada; Doug Vogl, general manager, Centricity Reps and membership,  PATA Canada; Sandra Ngoh-Fonseka, Marketing Manager, Tourism Malaysia and programs, PATA Canada; Rocky Lo, general manager business development - Asia, Air Canada and president, PATA Canada and Judi Pym, account manager, Centara Hotels and Resorts and treasurer, PATA Canada